What saith the word?
Many passages in the New Testament command Christians to adhere to a pattern for the church, of which I will list only a few. The early church is described as “continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine,” (Acts 2:42). Because of their steadfastness they were described as being in unity, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and soul”(Acts 4:32, KJV).
Paul reminded the church in Rome that they had been made “free from sin” because they had been obedient to a certain “form or pattern of teaching” (Rom. 6:17, KJV). Contrary to modern beliefs, Paul both taught and believed in “pattern theology”. The inspired Paul taught the church at Corinth that they were not to go “beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor. 4:6, ASV). This clearly shows that all activity is restricted by the Word. As Christians, we are not to modify the inspired instructions which were given through Jesus Christ and the inspired Apostles. Again, this is confirmed through the warnings not to “add to” or “take away” from the scriptures (Deut 4:22, Prov. 30:6, and Rev. 22:18-19).
Paul warned of a “falling away” from to Timothy and the church at Thessalonica (2 Thes. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:3-4). The expression “the faith” demonstrated a set doctrine proclaimed by inspired teachers (Gal. 1:23; Jude 1:3). If the church has the option of continually modifying biblical truth, how could one ever fall away from the faith? The Apostle Paul also informed Timothy that there is a “pattern of sound words” in which we should adhere (2 Tim. 1:13), and the young Timothy was to abide in the things he had learned from Paul (2 Tim. 3:14). Timothy was also to commit that same truth to other faithful brethren (2 Tim. 2:2), and was to charge men not to teach a “different doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:3). Paul states that those who leave the “sound words” are merely “puffed up, knowing nothing” (1 Tim. 6:3-4).
In view of the above listed verses, the idea of an “evolutionary church” or a church with “no boundaries” is demonstrated to be totally false. The plea for a restoration of first-century religion is commanded, necessary, and needed. Those who believe otherwise are “puffed up and know nothing”.
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